5 Quick Ways to Connect with your Volunteers

Carl Barnhill

As a leader, it’s important to build relationships with your volunteers. Not only will this help create a sense of community and belonging within your church, but it will also help your volunteers feel valued and appreciated.


Making Sunday Happen involves more than volunteers pushing the right button or moving the right fader – our most important job, our secret sauce – is pastoring our people. Seeing life change through Salvation and Spiritual Growth.

Let me give you five quick ways to connect with your volunteers outside of Sunday to help develop a dynamic volunteer culture at your church.

1: Provide Prayer Needs for your Team.

  • Make a list of your volunteers and pray for them regularly. Be intentional about praying for them by name and also encouraging other team members to pray for each other as well.

  • Let people know great news and concerning news that your whole team can be praying for.

    • “Hey Team, pray for Ms. Susan today. She is doing another round of chemo. Praying for you Ms. Susan! We’re with you!”

    • “Hey Team, pray for Matthew, he has a big science test today at Beechwood Middle School. You got this Matthew!”

  • I would provide encouragement and tips when it feels natural, but at least once a month.


2: Plan a gathering.

  • Whether it’s a potluck dinner, a game night, or a movie night, plan a gathering specifically for your volunteers. This will give them a chance to relax and get to know each other outside of serving on Sunday.

  • I would suggest maybe one very casual hang out gathering once a month.

    • Lunch or Ice Cream after Sunday or Wednesday Service

    • Movie Night at the Church with the team


3: Send them a physical note of Encouragement.

  • A handwritten note can go a long way in making someone feel appreciated. Take a few minutes to write a personal note thanking your volunteers for their hard work and letting them know how much you appreciate them.

  • You might even lay blank cards in your production team areas and ask your team members to write encouraging notes to each other during down times. This was game-changing when I tried it. I realized it was my job to cultivate the culture of my team. I could easily get blank cards, and print a list of team members with a little “write a note to a fellow team member” sign. This also gave our folks something to do instead of burying themselves in their phones.

4: Text them.

  • In today’s world, texting has become a quick and easy way to stay connected. Send your volunteers a message of encouragement, or simply let them know that you’re looking forward to serving with them on Sunday.

  • Here are some simple encouraging quick text ideas:

    • “Praying for you this week as you are in school / work / home…”

    • “Your hard work and dedication to serving our church community is deeply appreciated and makes a huge difference!”

    • “You are an essential part of our church family and we are grateful for your willingness to serve.”

    • “Thank you for your selfless service and for putting the needs of others before your own.”

    • “Your contributions as a volunteer are invaluable and make our church a better place.”

    • “Your time and effort are greatly appreciated and we are blessed to have you as part of our team of volunteers.”

5: Serve them in some way.

  • One of the best ways to show appreciation is to give back. Take a couple of your volunteers to lunch, have them over for dinner, or even give them a small gift as a way of saying thank you.

  • Major Life Events and Celebrations are a time where you serving your time will be greatly remembered. The Diaper Drives, Meal Trains, Hospital Visits, Birthday Cards and the life are ways you can serve your time when they need it most.

  • Be sure you are not just serving them in major life events, be intentional about serving them other times as well.


By taking the time to connect with your volunteers in these small but meaningful ways, you can create a sense of community and belonging within your church. Not only will this help your volunteers feel valued and appreciated, but it will also help create the kind of culture you want to see.

About Carl Barnhill

Owner, Church Visuals

Carl Barnhill is a creative entrepreneur, motion designer and author. He is the Owner Church Visuals, a company that helps Ministry Leaders visually communicate the Gospel. He is the host of the Your Visuals Matter Podcast. You can find him in Columbia, South Carolina with his wife, Katie and two sons, Jacob and Wesley.

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